A tough 2015 campaign and struggles during spring training left Miguel Gonzalez without a job at the start of the 2016 season. Fortunately for the right-hander, the White Sox decided to take a chance on him and pick him up on a minor league contract shortly thereafter. Gonzalez started the season in the minors, but after the major league rotation faltered the 32-year-old was called upon to fill in. He struggled at points during the season and was even relegated to the bullpen for a bit, but he managed to conclude the season with a very reasonable 3.73 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Although the strikeouts weren't there, the veteran displayed solid control (2.3 BB/9) and posted a career-best 0.73 HR/9. Gonzalez proved last year that he is still capable of pitching like a No. 4 or No. 5 starter and should enter 2017 with a spot in Chicago's rotation. However, if he falters, the White Sox now have the pitching prospects to unseat him.
Gonzalez has returned to White Sox spring training after spending time with Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez had thrown two innings with the White Sox before joining Mexico, for whom he made one start and threw four innings. That's not a lot of game action at this stage of camp. Presumably, Gonzalez started preparing earlier than others with the intent to be game ready for the WBC, but we'd like to see the White Sox projected fourth starter in a Cactus League game soon. The 32-year-old hurler will be keeping a rotation spot warm in 2017 until the organization is ready to promote its young pitching prospects from Triple-A Charlotte.
Gonzalez is scheduled to log a simulated game Friday, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports. Nothing wrong here: The organization simply is taking it easy with the right-hander, who surprised with a 3.73 ERA last season. Gonzalez should hold down a rotation spot for the rebuilding White Sox, though his fantasy use mostly will be contained to AL-only games, outside of the occasional mixed-league spot start.
Gonzalez threw 45 pitches in a simulated game and 15 more in the bullpen on Friday. It appears the White Sox are simply taking it easy on Gonzalez this spring. The right-hander is entering his second season with the club after posting a 3.73 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 23 starts for the club last year.
Gonzalez signed a one-year, $5.9 million deal with the White Sox on Friday, avoiding arbitration. Gonzalez was a bit of a late bloomer, which is why he is still going through the arbitration process at age 32. He enters a contract year with a secure spot in the White Sox's rotation, and will look to outpitch his peripherals for the fifth time in six years.
Gonzalez (5-8) finished his season on a high note Wednesday, shutting out the Rays for 8.1 innings and allowing only three hits without a walk while striking out five. The first half of the season was a major struggle for Gonzalez, but he improved his control dramatically in the second half and found himself again in the process. The Mexican righty put up a 3.03 ERA, 1.07 and 44:8 K:BB WHIP over 65.1 innings in the second half. However, his limited strikeout ability and inconsistent career add up to make him a risky, fairly low-reward fantasy pick for next year.